Ancient History and History BA (2024)

Indicative modules

Year one

Year two

Year three

Mandatory

Year 1

Studying the Greek World

Mandatory

Year 1

Studying the Roman World

Mandatory

Year 1

Learning History

Optional

Year 1

Making the Middle Ages, 500-1500

Optional

Year 1

Roads to Modernity: An Introduction to Modern History 1750-1945

Optional

Year 1

The Contemporary World since 1945

Optional

Year 1

Themes in Early Modern European History c.1500-1789

Optional

Year 1

Beginners' Latin or Greek: 1

Optional

Year 1

Beginners' Latin or Greek: 2

Optional

Year 1

Greek and Roman Mythology

Optional

Year 1

Interpreting Ancient Art and Archaeology

Optional

Year 1

Interpreting Ancient History

Optional

Year 1

Interpreting Ancient Literature

Optional

Year 1

Latin or Greek Texts: 1-6

Optional

Year 2

A Protestant Nation? Politics, Religion and Society in England, 1558-1640

Optional

Year 2

The Early Modern Global Spanish Empire (1450-1850)

Optional

Year 2

Rethinking the Tudors: Monarchy, Society and Religion in England, 1485-1603

Optional

Year 2

Gender, Empire, Selfhood: Transgender History in Global Context

Optional

Year 2

Commodities, Consumption and Connections the Global World of Things 1500-1800

Optional

Year 2

In the Heart of Europe: Histories of Modern Poland

Optional

Year 2

Villains or Victims: White Women and the British Empire c.1840-1980

Optional

Year 2

France and its Empire(s) 1815-1914

Optional

Year 2

The politics of memory in postwar Western Europe

Optional

Year 2

Mapping the Humanities

Optional

Year 2

A Tale of Seven Kingdoms: Anglo-Saxon and Viking-Age England from Bede to Alfred the Great

Optional

Year 2

British Foreign Policy and the Origins of the World Wars, 1895-1939

Optional

Year 2

Central European History: From Revolution to War, 1848-1914

Optional

Year 2

Consumers & Citizens: Society & Culture in 18th Century England

Optional

Year 2

De-industrialisation: A Social and Cultural History, c.1970-1990

Optional

Year 2

Environmental History: Nature and the Western World, 1800-2000

Optional

Year 2

European Fascisms, 1900-1945

Optional

Year 2

Heroes and Villains in the Middle Ages

Optional

Year 2

Imagining 'Britain': Decolonising Tolkien et al

Optional

Year 2

International History of the Middle East and North Africa 1918-1995

Optional

Year 2

Kingship in Crisis: Politics, People and Power in Late-medieval England

Optional

Year 2

Liberating Africa: Decolonisation, Development and the Cold War, 1919-1994

Optional

Year 2

Poverty, Disease and Disability: Britain, 1795-1930

Optional

Year 2

Rule and Resistance in Colonial India, c.1757-1857

Optional

Year 2

Sex, Lies and Gossip? Women of Medieval England

Optional

Year 2

Sexuality in Early Medieval Europe

Optional

Year 2

"Slaves of the Devil" and Other Witches: A History of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

Optional

Year 2

Soviet State and Society

Optional

Year 2

The British Empire from Emancipation to the Boer War

Optional

Year 2

The Rise of Modern China

Optional

Year 2

The Second World War and Social Change in Britain, 1939-1951: Went The Day Well?

Optional

Year 2

The Venetian Republic, 1450-1575

Optional

Year 2

The Victorians: Life, Thought and Culture

Optional

Year 2

Travel and Adventure in the Medieval World

Optional

Year 2

Pompeii: Art and Culture in a Roman Town

Optional

Year 2

Christian Empire

Optional

Year 2

Virgil and the Epic Tradition

Optional

Year 2

Oedipus through the Ages

Optional

Year 2

Animals in the Ancient World

Optional

Year 2

Greece in the Archaic Age, c. 800-500 BC

Optional

Year 2

Greeks and Persians

Optional

Year 2

Coins, Cults and Cities: Coinage in the Eastern Roman Provinces (30 BC to AD 270)

Optional

Year 2

Beginners’ Latin or Greek for second and third years: 1 and 2

Optional

Year 2

Communicating the Past

Optional

Year 2

Extended Source Study

Optional

Year 2

Intermediate Latin or Greek: 1 and 2

Optional

Year 2

Studying Classical Scholarship

Optional

Year 2

The Silk Road: Cultural Interactions and Perceptions

Optional

Year 2

Latin or Greek Texts: 1-6

Optional

Year 3

Dissertation in History

Optional

Year 3

Dissertation in Ancient History

Optional

Year 3

The British Civil Wars c.1639-1652

Optional

Year 3

Sexuality and Society in Britain Since 1900

Optional

Year 3

Alternatives to War: Articulating Peace since 1815

Optional

Year 3

Windrush and the (Re)Making of a Nation: Myth and Memory

Optional

Year 3

British Culture in the Age of Mass Production, 1920-1950

Optional

Year 3

Overseas Exploration, European Diplomacy, and the Rise of Tudor England

Optional

Year 3

Samurai Revolution: Reinventing Japan, 1853–78

Optional

Year 3

"Slaves of the Devil" and Other Witches: A History of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

Optional

Year 3

European colonialism and the boundary of the human in the long eighteenth century

Optional

Year 3

The 1960s and the West, 1958-1974

Optional

Year 3

Russia in Revolution 1905-21

Optional

Year 3

The Reign of Richard II

Optional

Year 3

'World wasting itself in blood': Europe and the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)

Optional

Year 3

Rebels Against Empire: Anticolonialism and British Imperialism in the mid 20th Century

Optional

Year 3

The three faces of Eve: Jewish Christian and Muslim women in Medieval Iberia

Optional

Year 3

The Hundred Years War

Optional

Year 3

Cultures of Power and the Power of Culture in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany

Optional

Year 3

Italy and the Second World War

Optional

Year 3

Zero Hour: Germany, Poland, and post-war reconstruction in Europe, 1945-1955

Optional

Year 3

Britain in the Age of the French Revolution: 1789-1803

Optional

Year 3

Victorians in Italy: Travelling South in the Nineteenth Century

Optional

Year 3

Samurai Revolution: Reinventing Japan, 1853–78

Optional

Year 3

Faith and Fire: Popular Religion in Late Medieval England

Optional

Year 3

The Black Death

Optional

Year 3

The Chimera: British Imperialism and Its Discontents, 1834-1919

Optional

Year 3

Disease and Domination: The History of Medicine and the Colonial Encounter

Optional

Year 3

The past that won’t go away: The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

Optional

Year 3

Plague, Fire and the Reimagining of the Capital 1600-1720: The Making of Modern London

Optional

Year 3

Slavery, Caste and Capitalism: Labouring Lives in Global History, 1750-2000

Optional

Year 3

Napoleonic Europe and its Aftermath, 1799-1848

Optional

Year 3

From Serfdom to Stalin: Rural Life in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, 1853-1932

Optional

Year 3

The Agony and the Ecstasy: Drugs for Pleasure and Pain in the History of Medicine

Optional

Year 3

Crisis, What Crisis? The West, c. 1970 to 2000

Optional

Year 3

A historical journey through Italy's links with the wider world

Optional

Year 3

Politics, culture, and sexuality in Renaissance and baroque Rome

Optional

Year 3

The Silk Road: Cultural Interactions and Perceptions

Optional

Year 3

Pompeii: Art and Culture in a Roman Town

Optional

Year 3

Christian Empire

Optional

Year 3

Virgil and the Epic Tradition

Optional

Year 3

Oedipus through the Ages

Optional

Year 3

Animals in the Ancient World

Optional

Year 3

Greece in the Archaic Age, c. 800-500 BC

Optional

Year 3

Greeks and Persians

Optional

Year 3

Classics and Film

Optional

Year 3

Coins, Cults and Cities: Coinage in the Eastern Roman Provinces (30 BC to AD 270)

Optional

Year 3

Mapping the Humanities

Optional

Year 3

Greek Tragedy

Optional

Year 3

Masculinity and Citizenship in Greece and Rome

Optional

Year 3

"Otherness" in Classical Art

Optional

Year 3

Heritage and the Media

Optional

Year 3

Beginners’ Latin or Greek for second and third years: 1 and 2

Optional

Year 3

Intermediate Latin or Greek: 1 and 2

Optional

Year 3

Advanced Latin or Greek: 1 and 2

Optional

Year 3

Latin or Greek Texts: 1-6

Ancient History and History BA (1)

About modules

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. This content was last updated on Thursday 2 May 2024.

Studying the Greek World Studying the Roman World Learning History Making the Middle Ages, 500-1500 Roads to Modernity: An Introduction to Modern History 1750-1945 The Contemporary World since 1945 Themes in Early Modern European History c.1500-1789 Beginners' Latin or Greek: 1 Beginners' Latin or Greek: 2 Greek and Roman Mythology Interpreting Ancient Art and Archaeology Interpreting Ancient History Interpreting Ancient Literature Latin or Greek Texts: 1-6

Gain a wide-ranging interdisciplinary introduction to the history, literature and culture of the ancient Greek World. Covering from c.1600-31 BC, you will explore Greek history from the Mycenaean period to the coming of Rome.

You will:

  • Examine the major topics in Greek history – from the Mycenaean Period and the Dark Ages, through the rise of the polis in the Archaic period, to the height of Greek civilisation in the Classical and Hellenistic periods, and finally its conquest by the Roman Empire
  • Explore primary evidence from Greek literary and material culture
  • Consider the relationship between ancient Greece and the modern world

This module is followed by theStudying the Roman Worldmodule, in the spring semester. No prior knowledge of Greek history or Greek language is needed.

This module is worth 10 credits.

This module gives a wide-ranging interdisciplinary introduction to the history, literature and art of the Roman world. We will explore from the beginnings of the city of Rome, to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West.

You will:

  • examine the major chapters of Rome's history – such as the Roman Republic, the rise of the empire, the establishment of the Principate, and the fall of Rome
  • discover coinciding developments in Roman literary and artistic culture
  • consider the reception of ancient Rome in modern western culture

We will also examine the relationship of the Roman world to the Greek world. This will complement the autumn semester module,Studying the Greek World,by continuing training in a number of basic study skills. No prior knowledge of the Roman world is needed.

This module is worth 10 credits.

Learn the skills you need to make the most of studying history.

This module aims to bridge the transition from school to university study, preparing you for more advanced work in your second year.

We will:

  • Focus on your conceptions of history as a subject, as well as your strategies as learners, so you can effectively monitor and develop your skills and understanding
  • Introduce different approaches to studying history, and different understandings of what history is for

This module is worth 20 credits.

"It’s very much a skills-based module. It was so useful. I had a long break from finishing sixth form in May, to starting uni in September – I thought 'how on Earth do I write an essay? What is this thing called referencing?!' The module took those worries away." –Emily Oxbury, History and Politics BA

Discover medieval European history from 500-1500.

We explore the major forces which were instrumental in shaping the politics, society and culture in Europe, considering the last currents in historical research.

Through a series of thematically linked lectures and seminars, you will be introduced to key factors determining changes in the European experience, as well as important continuities linking the period as a whole.

We will consider:

  • Political structures and organisation
  • Social and economic life
  • Cultural developments

You will spend three hours in lectures and seminars each week.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Explore a chronology of modern history, from 1750 to 1945.

We concentrate on:

  • key political developments in European and global history (including the French Revolution, the expansion of the European empires and the two World Wars)
  • Economic, social and cultural issues (such as industrialisation, urbanisation, changing artistic forms and ideological transformations)

This module is worth 20 credits.

Analyse the key developments in world affairs after the Second World War.

We will consider:

  • Major international events, particularly the course and aftermath of the Cold War
  • National and regional histories, especially in Europe, East Asia and the Middle East
  • Key political and social movements
  • Political, economic and social forces

This module is worth 20 credits.

This module introduces students to the major developments in early modern European history, which resulted from social, economic, political and cultural changes that took place between c.1500 and 1789. Students will examine the tensions produced by warfare, religious conflict, the changing relationship between rulers, subjects and political elites, development of trade, and the discovery of the New World.

This module is for complete beginners. However, it is also suitable if you have already done some study of Latin or Classical Greek (up to GCSE level).

You may find it reassuring that, unlike modern language study, there is no speaking and listening element. The main focus will be on reading text.

This module offers an introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of your chosen language. You will be supported to analyse and understand basic sentences and to translate short passages.

After this module, you progress to ‘Beginners’ Latin or Greek 2’.

This module is worth 20 credits.

"I see learning ancient languages like a puzzle, and I think that helps with problem solving. I have better initiative now, because I know how something fits in Latin and Greek and that can transfer to the everyday." -Chloë Choong

This module continues from ‘Beginners’ Latin or Greek 1’.

You will:

  • Continue to study the structure of your chosen language, including all the major grammatical features
  • Develop your reading skills until you can read almost unadapted passages from Latin or Classical Greek texts

After this module, you can choose to continue studying your chosen language in your second year, in the ‘Intermediate’ level modules. Note: This is mandatory for Classics BA students.

This module is worth 20 credits.

This module introduces the interpretation of ancient Greek and Roman myth, focussing on a representative range of texts and themes.

The module will be team-taught, exposing you to a wide range of material and approaches to the use of myth in the ancient world.

We will consider how mythology is used in:

  • ancient literature, such as epic and drama
  • historical texts
  • religious contexts
  • the material culture of the ancient world, such as statuary, paintings and sarcophagi

We will also introduce the variety of methodologies that scholars have used over the years, to help interpret and understand these myths and their usages.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Explore Greek and Roman art, from the Bronze Age to the end of the Roman Empire (roughly 1600 BC to AD 400). We will consider classic sites and monuments that are among the great lasting achievements of mankind, including the Parthenon, Trajan’s Column and the statue of Augustus of Prima Porta.

You will learn how to look at works of art and artefacts from the ancient world. This includes how to describe, explain and analyse them. As a result, you will unlock the meanings of these images and monuments for the people who made, commissioned and looked at them.

You will build a thorough understanding of the key contexts and media of ancient art and archaeology. This includes:

  • sculpture
  • vase-painting
  • coins
  • mosaics
  • architecture and urban structures

We will cover the Greek world in the autumn semester, and the Roman world in the spring semester. Rather than working chronologically, the material on this module is organised by media and contexts (topography, sculpture, vase painting, temples, tombs, houses etc.) This gives you a grasp of formal and stylistic developments within each of these media through the centuries, helping you understand their meanings in their original contexts.

This module is worth 20 credits.

"'Interpreting Ancient Art and Archaeology', which was a first-year module, is by far my favourite. You spend the first semester doing Greek art. You progress from the earliest Greek art, to when the Romans conquered them. Then in the spring semester, you do Roman art from beginning to the end and talk about all the different periods.It was interesting for me, as you got to do a presentation on a specific piece of art. It was really fun."- Hannah Parker, second-year Classical Civilisation

This year-long module is devoted to the history of the ancient world. You will investigate some of its key themes and approaches through a series of historical case studies, covering major periods of Greek and Roman history.

You will explore:

  • What do we know (and not know) about the ancient world?
  • How do ancient politics, society, culture and morality differ from our own?
  • What evidence informs us about the ancient world? What are its limits and pitfalls?
  • How do modern concerns influence academic debates about the ancient world, and the views of individual scholars?
  • How far can we hope to know ‘how things really were’ in the ancient world?

This module is worth 20 credits.

This module will introduce you to the interpretation of ancient literary texts (in translation) as sources for ancient culture, by focusing on a representative range of texts and themes.

We will address issues such as:

  • ancient performance-contexts and audiences
  • the workings of genres
  • analysis of rhetoric and literary style
  • representations of gender and sexuality
  • study of classical reception
  • how to compare translations

The autumn semester will focus on Greek texts, and the spring semester will focus on Latin texts.

This module is worth 20 credits.

This group of modules is for those who have already reached A-level standard. They allow you to explore the work of Latin or Greek authors in detail.

You will also:

  • improve your reading fluency
  • gain insight into language and literature
  • build linguistic analysis and literacy skills that are valued by employers

We pay special attention to language and style. Analysis of linguistic detail will build both your literary appreciation and your language skills.

Some modules will involve in-depth study of a single text, while others may cover a group of texts representative of an author, genre, period, or theme of Latin literature. All modules combine literary discussion with consideration of the historical and social background.

Regardless of whether you take Latin or Greek, the below applies:

Levels 1 and 2 are for first-year students:they involve a systematic programme of grammar revision alongside support with reading and analysis of the set text.

Levels 3 and 4 are for second-year students:they build on the previous year’s work, allowing you to read a larger amount of text and to develop your skills further.

Levels 5 and 6 are for third-year students:you will by now be able to read texts more independently, and assessment for these modules typically allows you to discuss the set text at greater length and with a high level of literary sophistication.

The texts covered change each year, but recent modules have focused on the following topics:

In Latin:

  • Flavian personal poetry (Martial and Statius)
  • The emperor Claudius (Suetonius and Tacitus)
  • The Cupid and Psyche story from Apuleius’ novelMetamorphoses
  • Ethnicity and Empire in Latin Epic (Virgil and Silius Italicus)
  • The Power of Love (Ovid and Propertius)

In Greek:

  • Tragedy (Euripides’Hecuba)
  • Books from Homer’sIliad
  • Longus’ novelDaphnis and Chloe
  • Plutarch’sLife of Antony
  • Paradoxography (a portfolio of texts exploring the weird and marvellous)

These modules are mandatory for Classics BA students with an A-level in Latin or Classical Greek. Other students with A-level can choose to start with ‘Latin or Greek Texts’ at levels 1 and 2, but they may drop later modules if they wish.

Each module is worth 20 credits.

A Protestant Nation? Politics, Religion and Society in England, 1558-1640 The Early Modern Global Spanish Empire (1450-1850) Rethinking the Tudors: Monarchy, Society and Religion in England, 1485-1603 Gender, Empire, Selfhood: Transgender History in Global Context Commodities, Consumption and Connections the Global World of Things 1500-1800 In the Heart of Europe: Histories of Modern Poland Villains or Victims: White Women and the British Empire c.1840-1980 France and its Empire(s) 1815-1914 The politics of memory in postwar Western Europe Mapping the Humanities A Tale of Seven Kingdoms: Anglo-Saxon and Viking-Age England from Bede to Alfred the Great British Foreign Policy and the Origins of the World Wars, 1895-1939 Central European History: From Revolution to War, 1848-1914 Consumers & Citizens: Society & Culture in 18th Century England De-industrialisation: A Social and Cultural History, c.1970-1990 Environmental History: Nature and the Western World, 1800-2000 European Fascisms, 1900-1945 Heroes and Villains in the Middle Ages Imagining 'Britain': Decolonising Tolkien et al International History of the Middle East and North Africa 1918-1995 Kingship in Crisis: Politics, People and Power in Late-medieval England Liberating Africa: Decolonisation, Development and the Cold War, 1919-1994 Poverty, Disease and Disability: Britain, 1795-1930 Rule and Resistance in Colonial India, c.1757-1857 Sex, Lies and Gossip? Women of Medieval England Sexuality in Early Medieval Europe "Slaves of the Devil" and Other Witches: A History of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe Soviet State and Society The British Empire from Emancipation to the Boer War The Rise of Modern China The Second World War and Social Change in Britain, 1939-1951: Went The Day Well? The Venetian Republic, 1450-1575 The Victorians: Life, Thought and Culture Travel and Adventure in the Medieval World Pompeii: Art and Culture in a Roman Town Christian Empire Virgil and the Epic Tradition Oedipus through the Ages Animals in the Ancient World Greece in the Archaic Age, c. 800-500 BC Greeks and Persians Classics and Film Coins, Cults and Cities: Coinage in the Eastern Roman Provinces (30 BC to AD 270) Beginners’ Latin or Greek for second and third years: 1 and 2 Communicating the Past Extended Source Study Intermediate Latin or Greek: 1 and 2 Studying Classical Scholarship The Silk Road: Cultural Interactions and Perceptions Latin or Greek Texts: 1-6

This module explores the causes of political and religious instability in England in the century before the Civil War, with a particular focus on the problematic creation of a national identity. We begin by looking at the troubled political and religious legacy inherited by Queen Elizabeth. We then examine some of the forces that united and divided English men and women during the period:

  • How did monarchs and local elites seek to justify their authority in this period?
  • To what extent were ideas of hierarchy and obedience queried or accepted?
  • What impact did such ideas have on daily life?

Areas for consideration include:

  • government ideology
  • popular beliefs and literacy
  • the persecution and toleration of religious minorities
  • the politics of the parish
  • attitudes towards birth, marriage and death.

This module provides an account of the main events and characteristics that defined the Spanish Empire from 1450 to 1850, when it was arguably the world’s leading political and economic power. Particularly, we will consider the different ways in which this far-flung polity was ruled and kept united for over three centuries and how myriad peoples were included and excluded from the imperial project. Thus, we will examine the nature and limits of imperial power to see how it was built, defended, expanded, and challenged.

Moreover, this module highlights the global connections and imaginings triggered by the establishment of Iberians in Africa, the Americas, and Asia. Therefore, students will learn of the many linkages that took place in different places across the world—from Manila, to Naples, Mexico City, Goa, or Madrid. This perspective challenges the “center-periphery” paradigm and previous assumptions of one-way-only imperial dynamics. This early modern global empire was built upon the extensive movement of people, goods, and ideas worldwide.

The Tudor period was one of the most transformative in English history. It began on the battlefield, as Henry VII wrestled the crown from the hands of the much-maligned Richard III, and ended with the death of Elizabeth I, the first queen to successfully rule England without a male counterpart. The intervening period witnessed a break with the papacy that fundamentally altered the religious and political make-up of the realm, and saw royal authority become increasingly absolute under a monarchy who were now also the heads of the church. All this left England a fundamentally different place in 1603 than it had been in 1485. Given the attention the Tudors have received in popular culture, and in the school curriculum, there are few students of English history who know nothing of the period. Thus, this module aims to expand on and challenge this knowledge to bring to life a clearer picture of how monarchy, power and religion operated in sixteenth-century England. Topics include:

1. Introduction to the module and its themes.

2. Henry VII: Forging a Dynasty, 1485-1509.

3. Henry VIII (1): War and Peace, 1509-25.

4. Henry VIII (2): The ‘Great Cause’ and the Break from Rome, 1525-35.

5. Henry VIII (3): The Later years, 1535-47.

6. Edward VI: A Boy for a King, 1547-53.

7. Mary I: England’s Catholic Queen, 1553-58.

8. Elizabeth I (1): The Establishment of a (female) Regime.

9. Elizabeth I (2): A Warrior Queen.

10. Elizabeth I (3): The ‘Second Reign’.

11. Conclusions: Remembering the Tudors.

Discover the history of people whose lives, bodies and identities cannot be neatly fitted into the categories of ‘male’ or ‘female’ that are predominant in the world today.

The module explores how European imperial expansion impacted societies that were not structured around a binary model of gender. Examples of these societies include the ‘hijra’ in India, ‘fa'afāfine’ in Samoa, and ‘niizh manidoowag’, ‘winkt’ and ‘nàdleehé’ (often referred to collectively as ‘two spirit’) in North America, as well as European people who lived lives outside of the gender binary.

We will focus on the period between 1750 and 1870, offering a contextual overview of the regions under study, their interconnections, and the theoretical and methodological problems of thinking about gender history in global and imperial contexts and in relationship to ideas of sex, sexuality and gender.

The early modern period witnessed the birth of commodity culture and the transformation of the relationship between people and their material world.

Expanding global trade networks and early colonial encounters brought a range of exotic products into early modern homes, including spices, sugar, tea, tobacco, cotton, porcelain and mahogany, while the rise of capitalism and industrialisation revolutionised the manufacture and availability of necessities and luxuries across the social spectrum.

The richness of this ‘new world of goods’ had profound consequences, transforming patterns of consumption, introducing new understandings of scientific knowledge and cultural production, and reshaping social identities and relationships based on class, gender and race.

This module takes advantage of a sweep of new interdisciplinary perspectives across a range of subject areas, including social, economic and cultural history, archaeology, anthropology and art history, which have focused on the role and significance of early modern ‘things’.

You will gain a grounding of central themes in early modern history, as well as a deeper understanding of the importance of looking at early modern Europe as part of a globalising world. You will explore a range of textual sources including wills and inventories, account books, letters and diaries which tell us about expanding global connections, what people consumed and how they thought about their objects.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Across the twentieth century, Poland’s rulers, borders, and inhabitants have undergone significant changes. Poland was colonised by Empires, divided and occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, reconfigured by democracies, and fundamentally shaped by life behind the Iron Curtain under communist rule. Today, as right-wing populism surges, Poland is undergoing another dramatic change. Close to one million Polish-born citizens live in the UK today, the largest overseas-born group, yet few in Britain know anything about Poland and its rich, vibrant, and tumultuous history.

A history of Poland, and the people(s) inhabiting Polish lands, will help students to understand this rising economic power in the heart of Europe. Placing it in relation to its neighbours to the east and west will emphasise how Poland, in its current form, is a product of both sides and the long shadows of partition, independence, war, occupation, and communism.

White women cut an ambivalent figure in the history of the British Empire. They tend to be remembered as malicious harridans personifying the worst excesses of colonialism, as vacuous fusspots, whose lives were punctuated by frivolous pastimes, or as casualties of patriarchy, constrained by male actions and gendered ideologies. As this course shows, however, the reality of the situation was much more intricate and complex. Taking inspiration from academic literature that has proliferated in the last thirty years or so, Villains or Victims? draws upon case studies from Britain, Canada, India, Australia and southern Africa to examine the lived reality of being a white woman in a colonial setting. Utilising the histories of white women as a prism through which to understood broader issues relating to religion, gender, race, class, domesticity, sexuality and suffrage, this course will also expose students to a range of primary source materials, including diaries, letters, novels and memoirs.

This module covers France and the French colonial Empire from the end of the Napoleonic era in 1814-15 through to the outbreak of the First World War: a century in which French society underwent a series of major upheavals, and during which French imperial control was dramatically and violently expanded to multiple parts of the globe.

It covers France’s struggle to find a form of government that could square the competing demands of radical democrats and conservative traditionalists, as monarchies, Republics and a further Napoleonic Empire came and went.

It looks at how industrialisation and cultural developments changed the face of France and enabled further phases of imperial expansion: from Algeria in 1830, to Mexico in the 1860s, and then Indochina and sub-Saharan Africa from the 1880s onwards.

Amongst all of this, France suffered a devastating defeat to Prussia/Germany in 1870-71, with profound social and political effects that shaped the period leading up to World War I.

Why has Germany undergone a process of Denazification while General Franco is still revered by large segments of Spanish society? Why do Portugal’s political elite refuse to engage with the country’s colonial past? Did General Franco single out Catalans for repression after winning the Spanish Civil War? And are Brexiteers (dis)honouring the recent past by establishing parallelisms between resistance to Nazism and Brexit?

This module aims to answer these questions by examining the politicisation of memory and the rise of far-right movements in Europe from a transnational perspective. Students will explore how the past has been manipulated to serve present political purposes by focusing on a number of case studies: the UK, Germany, Spain (including Catalonia), and Portugal. The first three lectures/seminars will familiarise students with relevant theoretical frameworks. Building on this body of knowledge, students will then explore how collective memories of the Second World War have been manipulated to influence the Brexit debate, how a recent narrative of victimhood has emerged in Germany, the reappraisal of General Franco’s regime by Catalan independence movements, the toxic political legacy of Portugal’s difficulty in dealing with its colonial heritage, and Spain’s painful coming to terms with its recent dictatorial past.

This module introduces map-making for the Arts and Humanities. You will be introduced to the field of spatial humanities and will learn how to carry out spatial analyses of humanities datasets and present their findings to a high standard.

You’ll be introduced to the key principles of spatial analysis and digital cartography using open-source Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software. We will also explore the broad and exciting applications of spatial analysis.

We will also work with you to help you understand the role of GIS in digital humanities, the role of this in research and practice more widely, and the employability value of GIS as a skill.

The discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found, has forced historians to re-evaluate the Anglo-Saxon period and ask new questions about this crucial formative stage of English history.

The history of much of this period of conversions, conflicts and cultural renaissances is documented by Bede, a monk from Wearmouth-Jarrow in Northumbria (c. 673–735). In 793, the world described to us by Bede was thrown into chaos by a Viking raid on the island monastery of Lindisfarne, an event that some Anglo-Saxons interpreted in apocalyptic terms. The subsequent settlement of Vikings across Northern and Eastern England profoundly changed the social, cultural and economic structures of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.

This course covers the period from the beginning of the seventh century to the end of the ninth, ending with the reign of Alfred, the only English king to ever achieve the moniker 'the Great'.

Discover British foreign policy, from the last years of the Victorian Era to the German invasion of Poland in 1939.

We focus on the policy of British governments, giving an historical analysis of the main developments in their relationship with the wider world. This includes:

  • The making of the ententes
  • Entry into the two world wars
  • Appeasem*nt and relations with other great powers

We also discuss the wider background factors which influenced British policy, touching on Imperial defence, financial limitations and the influence of public opinion.

This module is worth 20 credits.

This module aims to encourage students to develop a detailed understanding of the major political, social and economic developments in Central Europe between 1848 and 1914. They should become aware of the main historiographical debates concerning the region and the Habsburg Monarchy in particular.

As a result of their historical studies and analytical thinking, students should enhance and develop a range of intellectual and transferable skills.

This thematic module examines the social and cultural world of eighteenth century England in the period when it enters the modern world. Areas for consideration include:

  • the structure of society
  • constructions of gender and culture
  • family life and marriage
  • the urban world
  • consumerism and culture
  • the press and the reading public
  • crime, social protest & the rise of radical politics

In the 1970s and 1980s, momentous economic changes swept through traditional industrial regions across the West, turning proud heartlands into rustbelts in less than a generation. As the lights went out in shipyards, steelworks, coal mines and manufacturing plants, a way of life was destroyed for millions of manual workers and their families, with profound repercussions on identities, communities and urban topographies. This module examines the social and cultural impact of de-industrialisation in the north of England, the German Ruhr basin, and the American Midwest, using a wealth of diverse primary sources, from government records to popular music, to tease out what it meant to live through a period of tumultuous socio-economic change. The module takes thematic approaches, exploring topics including:

  • Change and decline in traditional industries such as coal, steel and shipbuilding.
  • Political responses to industrial change, with a particular focus on industrial conflict over closures.
  • The impact of de-industrialisation on manual workers and their ways of life.
  • Changing ideas of social class.
  • Mass unemployment and its social and cultural consequences.
  • Gender and identity, with a particular emphasis on the crisis of ‘muscular masculinity’.
  • Urban decline and regeneration.
  • Youth and youth subcultures in post-industrial cities.
  • Cultural representations of de-industrialisation, with emphasis on popular music, fiction and feature films.

Discover the environmental history of the Western World over the past two centuries. The great nature-people stories that have shaped who we are today.

You will examine the history of environmental ideas and our changing and complex attitudes to animals and nature, alongside the history of human impacts on the environment. We will use the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain as case studies. Ultimately, we ask, can environmental history save the world in the 21st century?

Topics include:

  • species history and the rewilding debate
  • the rise of environmental protection groups
  • the role of the state in environmental protection
  • the history of pollution and pesticide use
  • the National Park movement
  • the Nature Reserve and the rise of outdoor leisure and recreation
  • the emergence of modern environmentalism and campaigning
  • the role of wildlife television and natural history film-making

This module is a must for anyone wanting to pursue a career in the environmental sector.

This module is worth 20 credits

Examine the rise of fascist movements in interwar Europe, following the First World War.

We focus in particular on the cases of Italy and Germany and also look at other cases for comparison (i.e. Spain, Britain, France, and Romania). This in order to understand why certain movements were more popular than others and able to seize power.

We will examine:

  • the nature of fascist ideology
  • the use of violence
  • fascism and masculinity and femininity

We will also analyse the practice of the Fascist and National Socialist governments in power, comparing these with particular reference to repression and attempts to build ‘consent’, gendered policies on ‘race’, and expansion through conquest.

The module ends by considering the Axis and genocide during the Second World War.

This module is worth 20 credits.

The module compares and contrasts key historical, legendary and fictional figures to examine the development of western medieval values and ideologies such as monasticism, chivalry and kingship. It explores how individuals shaped ideal types and how they themselves strove to match medieval archetypes. The binary oppositions between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are explored through study of the ‘bad king’, and the creation of villains such as the Jew. You will spend four hours per week in lectures and seminars.

This module examines the myths and legends of the ‘British’ Isles as written about by twentieth-century authors such as JRR Tolkien in Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, and the Silmarillion, and by CS Lewis in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe Series.

You will explore the historiography of British myth-making and whether Tolkien and Lewis were retelling, reinventing or fabricating British mythology. Students will also be invited to explore the foundation of British myths known colloquially within the term ‘The Matter of Britain.’

The module will begin with defining the difference between myths, legends and history and explore issues of chivalry, nobility and ethnicity in Arthurian legends. Students will be encouraged to decolonise these myths, re-interpreting whether they are fantasies, or an exoticisation of something else, such as ethnic groups and gendered politics.

Later parts of this module will explore the myth-making and rituals detailed in the extensive works of antiquarian writers.

The module offers a knowledge of key developments in the Middle East and North Africa between the collapse of the Ottoman empire and the emergence of a politicised version of Islam. Students should familiarise themselves with the key historical debates surrounding, for example, the relative impact of regional and international factors and begin to work with some primary documentary material relating to political and diplomatic developments. They will also be encouraged to use primary source material from the region and to consider the role which historical events have played in framing current problems in the Middle East and North Africa.

Have you ever wondered what makes a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ king?

We investigate late medieval kingship, the dynamics of politics and power, and the reasons why royal authority was challenged.

You will examine the history of late-medieval England, from the mid-13thto late-15thcentury, when a series of political crises rocked the English monarchy.

We focus on the political events of the period, especially the times of crisis when the monarchy faced opposition or even usurpation. This includes:

  • Simon de Montfort and the Crisis of 1258
  • Ruling in the king's name: the Ordinances of 1311
  • The depositions of Edward II (1327) and Richard II (1399)
  • Politics and Bankruptcy: Edward III and Henry IV
  • The Wars of the Roses (1450-61)
  • The tyranny of Richard III

England didn’t exist in isolation, however. You’ll also explore its relations with Scotland and Wales, considering how English power was imposed on subject populations, and how they resisted. Case studies include Robert Bruce and Own Glyn Dwr.

This module is worth 20 credits.

The purpose of this module is to examine current debates in the historiography about the end of the European empires in African and the emergence of a new political system of independent states. Topics which will feature particularly strongly are

  • the emergence of a variety of different forms of African nationalism
  • the ongoing debate about the uneven economic development of Africa during the last years of empire and the first years of independence
  • the controversies surrounding the numerous colonial wars which were fought during the liberation struggle
  • the significance of race including the question of European settlements and migration
  • the impact of the Cold War on the politics of decolonisation. Countries which will be examined in particular detail will include Egypt, Algeria, Ghana, the Congo, Kenya, Angola, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

This module explores the role of the poverty, disease and disability in shaping lives between 1795 and 1930, and how these intersected with ideas of and attitudes to health and welfare. It also examines representations of poverty, disease and disability in museums and on TV.

Themes include:

  • understanding poverty, disease, disability in an age of progress and reform
  • the problem of the poor? Poverty, the poor law and workhouses
  • studying poverty, disease and disability: sources and representations
  • town versus country - the healthy countryside?
  • housing conditions: the slum
  • disease
  • working conditions
  • disability and the deaf
  • ‘madness’: mental illness in an age of reason
  • hygiene and health care
  • unrest and dissatisfaction: resistance, rebellion and riot

This module introduces the history of the British imperial expansion in India from the mid eighteenth century, through to the Rebellion in 1857. It covers:

  • the rise of trade relations with India
  • the growth of territorial rule through war and negotiation with Indian rulers
  • resistance to imperial rule through mutiny
  • the debate over sati (widow immolation)

Later medieval England was a patriarchal society. Women were considered of great importance because of their roles as mothers. However, medieval women were also considered to be more passionate and sexual than men; they were considered wile and guileful and it was thought that they spent much of their time gossiping. Using a wide range of translated medieval sources this course will pose questions about how English women overcame and operated within these stereotypical preconceptions. It will examine women in terms of progression through their life cycle from daughters under the protection of their fathers, to the work available to single women, to married women and the law – mothers under the ‘protection’ of their husbands – and then to widows and the increased opportunities available to these women. In doing so, it will examine a number of aspects of medieval women’s lives from female piety to women and work, medieval attitudes to women and sex and the gendered medieval understanding of power and authority. The course will allow students to recover much of the essence of medieval life. Were later medieval English women merely disadvantaged or were they actively downtrodden within a patriarchal society? Further, it considers the extent to which the foundations of modern gender inequalities were established in the middle ages.

This module deals with an important, but long neglected, aspect of life in the early medieval West - sexual behaviour and attitudes to human sexuality. Key issues include:

  • ancient, medieval and modern theories of sexuality
  • Christian beliefs about the family and marriage, and challenges to these
  • the regulation of sexual behaviour as expressed in law codes and books of penance, including violent sexual activity
  • alternative sexualities

The module offers an overview of the history of witchcraft and covers a wide geographical area spreading from Scotland to the Italian peninsula and from Spain to Russia. Such breadth of reference is of vital importance because, in contrast to the uniform theology-based approach to witch persecution in Western and Central Europe, the world of Eastern Orthodox Christianity represented a very different system of beliefs that challenged western perceptions of witchcraft as a gendered crime and lacked their preoccupation with the diabolical aspect of sorcery. The module’s geographical breadth is complemented by thematic depth across a range of primary sources and case studies exploring the issues of religion, politics, and social structure.

This module examines political, social and economic transformations in the Soviet Union from the October Revolution of 1917 to Gorbachev’s attempted reforms and the collapse of the state in 1991. You will look at Russia both from the top down (state-building strategies; leadership and regime change; economic and social policy formulation and implementation) and from the bottom up (societal developments and the changing structures and practices of everyday life). You will usually spend three hours in lectures and seminars each week.

This module examines the history of the British Empire from the end of the slave trade in 1833-4 to the Second Anglo-Boer War in 1899-1902. The module is divided into three major geographic and chronological sections. In the first part of the course, we will discuss the British Caribbean, with a particular focus on the transition from slavery and the period of instability in the decades that followed. In the second part, we will focus on India and the changeover from East India Company rule to the direct administration by the British government in the wake of the Indian Mutiny (aka “the Sepoy Rebellion”). In the final section, we will discuss Britain’s participation in the “Scramble for Africa” and the rise of “popular imperialism” with the 2nd Anglo-Boer War. The final, pre-revision class meeting will also discuss the metropolitan aspects of empire, examining London’s status as “the Imperial Metropolis.

This module covers the history of China from the 1840s, through to the establishment of the People's Republic in 1949. It looks at social, cultural, political and economic developments in this period from a variety of angles and approaches.

The module focuses in particular on the ways in which Chinese society responded to the arrival of 'modernity' in the form of the Western powers and Japan throughout the period in question, but also how different groups in China tried to remould or redefine China as a 'modern' nation-state and society.

This module surveys and analyses social change in Britain during and after the Second World War, up to the end of the Attlee’s Labour government in 1951. Key issues include:

  • changing gender roles and expectations
  • the experience and impact of rationing, bombing, conscription, voluntary service and direction by central government
  • historiographical debates about whether Britain was united against a common enemy
  • propaganda, mass communication and the management of information
  • planning for a post-war world, including the creation of the National Health Service and the reform of the education system
  • post-war reconstruction of cities
  • reactions to the Holocaust, atomic weaponry, returning service personnel, returning Prisoners of War
  • post-war austerity
  • representations of the period and the construction of memory

This module explores the nature of the Venetian Republic in the later fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It examines the constitution, and administrative and judicial system, its imperial and military organisation, but will above all focus on the city and its inhabitants. The module will examine the enormous cultural dynamism of the city (especially the visual arts from the Bellini to Tintoretto and Veronese), changing urban fabric, the role of ritual and ceremony, the position of the Church, and class and gender.

  • Venice and international context
  • The Venetian economy
  • Constitution and administration
  • Venice at war and peace
  • Patricians, citizens and popular classes
  • Women in Venice: wives and workers, whor*s and nuns
  • Urban fabric
  • Patronage and the arts
  • Artisans and printers
  • Religion and the republic
  • Jews and foreigners

The module mixes intellectual, cultural and social history to produce an overview of cultural trends in Britain between c. 1830 and 1901. Key themes include:

  • The Victorians, An Overview
  • Religion: Sin and Redemption
  • Poverty
  • Cities
  • Sanitation
  • Sexuality
  • Consumerism and the Mass Market
  • Entertainment
  • Evolution

The module looks at peoples and places in the period c.1150-c.1250 from the perspective of travel. It shifts the focus of Christian/Muslim/Jewish/Mongol interactions from the more traditional medieval narratives of conflict, crusade and conquest, to those of Trade, Pilgrimage, Exploration and Mission. The introductory classes look at medieval travel and what people in the world with the Mediterranean at its centre knew, and thought they knew, about the rest of the World, including far-flung places that only a few people had ever ‘seen’. The lecture and seminar topics include introduce Travel Writing, Monsters, Maps, Crusades, Merchants, Pilgrims, Explorers, Envoys, Missionaries, and Assassins. Examples are drawn from Jewish, Muslim and Christian experience.

This module explores the urban image and visual culture of the best-preserved ancient Roman city, Pompeii, throughout the early imperial period and to its end in AD 79. It examines its history and topography, and analyses individual urban structures, architectural choices, sculptural and other artistic displays and monuments, their place in Roman urban development, their political, social, economic or religious function and their subsequent use and influence, including in the modern reception of ancient Pompeii.

Topics include:

  • problems of studying "urban fabric"
  • Pompeii as a melting pot of different cultural traditions
  • public and religious spaces in a Roman town (fora and temples, routes through the city, trade and commerce, sculptural/pictorial displays)
  • entertainment and hygiene (theatres, baths and brothels)
  • the domestic context (intra- and extra-mural living, interior decoration and wall-painting)
  • the funerary sphere (self-representation and cultural traditions).

This module examines a fascinating and tumultuous period of Roman history: from Diocletian’s seizure of power (A.D. 284) to the sack of Rome by a Visigothic army (A.D. 410). In the 126 years which separated these two events, the Roman world was fundamentally transformed, by (amongst other things) the rise of Christianity and the decline of imperial power. This transformation is documented for us by a range of captivating sources: from St. Augustine’s disarmingly frank autobiography, his Confessions, to Zosimus’ savage indictment of the damage he alleged Christianity had done to the empire.

Over the semester, we will work our way through the period, looking at key political, social, religious, and cultural developments and analysing the source material for this absorbing chapter in Rome’s imperial story.

This module involves a detailed study of Virgil's Latin epic poem, the Aeneid, in English translation, and focuses on its interactions with the epic genre.

The Aeneid was always and immediately characterised as a 'great' poem: how does Virgil react against his predecessors to carve out his own literary territory? How is the Aeneid received and re-used by poets and other artists down the ages?

Themes will include:

  • career and poetics
  • Homer and Apollonius
  • reception in later epic (Roman imperial, Neo-Latin, Milton)
  • politics and identity
  • games and reality
  • gender and genre
  • vision and spectacle.

This module will explore the ancient evidence for the myth of Oedipus and selected representations of the myth in the post-Classical world.

In terms of evidence, students will have the opportunity to explore ancient drama and other poetry as well as visual culture and mythographic writings.

In terms of post-Classical representations, there will be a particular focus on performance and on modern popular culture, including (but not necessarily limited to) film, popular mythology books, material aimed at children, on-line representations, and humour.

This module explores the representation of animals in ancient Greek and Roman literature and culture. Core questions include:

  • What criteria did the Greeks and Romans use to distinguish humans from animals?
  • What responsibilities were human beings said to have towards the natural world?
  • How were animals used to explore ideas about ‘nature’, ‘culture’, and ‘civilisation’?
  • How close are these ideas to our contemporary attitudes toward non-human beings?

While incorporating discussion of material evidence and the day-to-day realities of animal life in the ancient world, the module focuses primarily on the ways in which animals were perceived, analysed, and represented in ancient texts, from philosophy and natural history to satire, fable, and tales of metamorphosis. Both ancient and modern theoretical approaches will be considered, and all material will be read in translation.

During the period 800-500 BC the Greek world transformed from a collection of relatively small communities led by local strongmen to complex city-state societies with elaborate institutions, magistracies, and systems of public finance. Law shifted from an oral to a written basis; Greek settlements spread across the Mediterranean basin and Black Sea; and Greek individuals travelled to Egypt and the east, fuelling a process of dynamic cultural fusion. This period was, too, the crucible from which emerged remarkable works of literature, art, and the beginnings of Greek philosophy.

But it was an era of conflict and disruption as much as cultural and economic progress. Major inequalities in wealth between rich and poor led to social breakdown in many communities. The solutions were various: in Attica, Solon attempted to reshape Athenian institutions to place the poor in a stronger position and curb some of the more egregious abuses inflicted by the wealthy. In Sparta, a culture of material austerity emerged that hid from plain sight the visible aspects of inequality whilst maintaining the economic structures that underpinned elite dominance. For some Greek communities, the answer to these problems lay in entrusting one man with the direction of the community, that is, tyranny, which led to disaster in places like Athens and the emergence of the institutional outlines of the classical democracy. And warfare was rife: the archaic age saw the emergence on land of the tactics of the hoplite phalanx, and at sea the development of the trireme and the fiscal structures that underpinned the first state-owned navies.

This module will enable students to chart continuity and change during the epoch in which the contours of classical Greek society were firmly established. It will focus in particular on the interpretative strategies required in evaluating a highly diverse body of evidence and the methodological problems that challenge historians when reconstructing an era whose evidence is far more lacunose that that which survives for the ensuing periods

This module will consider:

  • the Persian Empire, and in particular contacts between Persians and Greeks in the approximate period 560-330 BC
  • major events including: the foundation of the empire by Cyrus the Great; the consolidation of the empire by Darius; the Ionian Revolt and the invasions of Greece; the Delian League and the Peace of Callias; the Peloponnesian War; the Peace of Antalcidas; Alexander’s conquest of the Persian Empire
  • major themes regarding the interactions between Greeks and Persians, including military and political conflict, but also trade and cultural engagement
  • Greek literary evidence, and the diverse representations of Persians and the Persian Empire presented in it
  • non-Greek evidence for the Persian Empire, including cuneiform writings, inscriptions, and visual evidence.

This module will be questioning how various film presentations of the ancient world can be used to better understand both the ancient world itself and our relationship to it.

This will involve a critical understanding not just of the content of certain films but also of the related theories of cultural studies, reception studies, film theory, queer theory, semiotics, race and colonialism, sexuality and morality in both the ancient and modern world. As such this module will be heavily theoretical and will expect the students to be able to deal with complex issues not just about the ancient world, but of modern film production too. This also means that the module will have more teaching hours attached to it than other optional modules to accommodate the extra viewings for discussions.

Amongst the themes to be discussed will be the use of Greek mythology, Greek and Roman historical events, ancient religion, ancient sexuality, morality, special effects, new technologies and comparative cultural studies; all the while dealing with such case-studies as post-War European cinema, British Art House cinema, Hollywood Blockbusters and comedy and animation.

The module will be assessed by a source-analysis commentary and an exam.

The Roman Empire was a mad, mad place! How else would you call an empire where any individual city can decide it wants to start issuing its own money – and the authorities let them do it? A place where hundreds of cities produced hundreds of currencies of local bronze coinage, each city with its own weight standards, and each using its coinage for self-promotion, celebrating local gods, temples, festivals and any other attractions that made their hometown special.

According to one calculation, some 500 cities across the Roman Empire minted coins in the 350 years from Caesar to Diocletian, churning out approximately 100,000 different coin types. This module is all about this city or ‘civic’ coinage. We won’t have quite enough time in this life to discuss 100,000 coin types, so we focus especially on what we call the Near East, i.e. Roman Syria, Phoenicia, Judaea and Arabia (30 BC to AD 270). Dozens of Near Eastern cities produced coins during this time, contributing to an immensely rich and varied tapestry of local cultures.

We will first grapple with the historical circ*mstances which put cities in a position to issue their own money despite being subject to Rome. The local autonomy the cities enjoyed was not a consequence of Roman folly, negligence, or administrative malpractice, but a deliberate and well-advised hands-off approach whose wisdom is proven by hundreds of years of stable and successful rule over the provinces.

In Coins, Cults and Cities, you will learn how the coins can shed light on the life of the issuing city in all its facets:

  1. World of art: reception of Classical models; Greek-inspired art forms vs. local traditions; stylistic developments over time
  2. Religious life, cults and gods: significance of religious imagery, local cult images, ‘icons of difference’
  3. Civic pride, local identity: coins as vehicles for expressions of patriotism and public self-congratulation
  4. Ideology and propaganda: coins as the only mass medium of the ancient world, as tools for collective self-promotion.
  5. Complex dynamics between audience and authority: Who was responsible for text and image on coins? Who was the target audience?

You will get your hands on actual ancient coins of Damascus, Palmyra, Tyre, Sidon and many other cities (you get to choose which ones). Holding actual 2,000-year-old pieces of history in your own hands and examining them will teach you how to apply the knowledge and understanding you’ve gained in class to get the most out of the evidence. You will learn how to observe, analyse and interpret the evidence, and how to turn your thoughts and observations into building blocks for arguments when addressing questions or engaging in scholarly debate.

The civic coins of the Roman Near East have been the focus of my research for close to 20 years. Like me, you will find that these coins are inexhaustible fonts of insight and inspiration. There is no other kind of evidence from the Roman Near East even remotely as rich and deep as this coinage, and yet this precious source is unknown to the general public and under-appreciated even by historians and archaeologists.

These two modules are for complete beginners. They are also suitable if you have already done some study of Latin or Classical Greek (up to GCSE level). They cover the same material as ‘Beginners’ Latin or Greek 1’ and ‘Beginners’ Latin or Greek 2’. They just let you start your chosen language at a later point in your degree.

You’ll get an introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of your chosen language and you will be supported to analyse and understand basic sentences and to translate short passages.

There is no speaking and listening element - the main focus will be on reading text.

If you take these modules in your second year, you can continue onto the ‘Intermediate’ modules in your third year. Note: this is mandatory for Classics BA students.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Get creative and build your knowledge on an aspect of Classics or Archaeology which interests you.

Your aim in this module is to communicate your chosen topic to the general public. How you choose to do that is entirely up to you. You might explore different types of writing, perhaps for children or in the style of a magazine, or you might experiment with a different medium of communication, such as video, website or phone app.

For example, past students have:

  • Created a museum exhibition
  • Reconstructed an ancient artefact
  • Designed a new public engagement strategy for a historic site
  • Developed a board game
  • Created a marketing campaign

The module convenor will support you to design an appropriate topic and format for your project.

You will develop vital research, project design and communication skills, which are excellent preparation for a range of careers, as well as your third-year dissertation.

This module is worth 20 credits.

“I designed several T-shirts and hoodies which conveyed information about the site’s art and architecture, history, and its eventual ruination by ISIL in 2015. I wanted to combine my interest of fashion with my love for the classical world, and this project gave me the opportunity to do so.”

- Alexander Gadd, Created a clothing brand based on Palmyra

Read more student experiences about this module.

This module is designed to develop your skills of research, analysis and written presentation as preparation for a third year dissertation in classical civilisation. You will write a 5,000 word essaychosen from a range of topics, each focusing on a single piece of ancient source material. You will be provided with a topic for investigation, starter bibliography and tips on how toapproach the question. The questions will suggest a range of possible approaches, from evaluation of historical source material to exploration of literary effects, relationships with other material,discussion of context or reception. For this module you will have a mixture of lectures and four2-hour seminars over a period of 10 weeks.

Continue your study of Latin or Classical Greek, following on from the beginners’ level modules.

You will thoroughly consolidate the vocabulary and grammar of your chosen language and begin the detailed linguistic and literary study of an unadapted Latin or Greek text.

In Latin, you will typically read a text such as Cicero’sPro Archia, or a book of Virgil or Ovid.

In Greek, the text might be a complete speech by Lysias or selections from a longer text such as theOdysseyor a Greek tragedy.

The assessment for these modules emphasises comprehension and analysis of grammatical structures over memorisation and translation.

Each module is worth 20 credits.

This module focuses on the history and development of the scholarship on ancient Greece and Rome and on specific theories, approaches and methods used by modern scholarship. The aim is to sharpenyour engagement with and understanding of scholarship, and to give a deeper appreciation of the ways the ancient world has been appropriated. Studying the history of scholarship in its socio-political context will show you how the questions we ask depend on the situations we live in; it will also allow you to judge the merits and limitations of scholarly approaches and will develop your skills of research and analysis, as preparation for your third-year dissertation. As with the Extended Source Study, you will choose a work-sheetrelating to an area of the ancient world which particularly interests you; the module is assessed by an oral presentation and a 4,500-5,000 word essay.

This is a discipline-bridging cross-campus module, involving colleagues from across the School of Humanities.

The Silk Road will be presented as a range of archaeological, historical and scientific themes. Broad cultural themes will be balanced with the presentation of specific case studies, such as:

  • The definitions of the Silk Roads
  • Byzantine, Islamic and later medieval Silk Roads
  • Luxury production
  • Trade and exchange from the Roman and later periods
  • Ming Dynasty links with the West

Scientific techniques for the analysis of materials, and their role in the interpretation of trade and exchange along the Silk Roads, will also be considered. This could be between, for example, China, central Asia, Scandinavia and the Middle East.

This module is worth 20 credits.

This group of modules is for those who have already reached A-level standard. They allow you to explore the work of Latin or Greek authors in detail.

You will also:

  • improve your reading fluency
  • gain insight into language and literature
  • build linguistic analysis and literacy skills that are valued by employers

We pay special attention to language and style. Analysis of linguistic detail will build both your literary appreciation and your language skills.

Some modules will involve in-depth study of a single text, while others may cover a group of texts representative of an author, genre, period, or theme of Latin literature. All modules combine literary discussion with consideration of the historical and social background.

Regardless of whether you take Latin or Greek, the below applies:

Levels 1 and 2 are for first-year students:they involve a systematic programme of grammar revision alongside support with reading and analysis of the set text.

Levels 3 and 4 are for second-year students:they build on the previous year’s work, allowing you to read a larger amount of text and to develop your skills further.

Levels 5 and 6 are for third-year students:you will by now be able to read texts more independently, and assessment for these modules typically allows you to discuss the set text at greater length and with a high level of literary sophistication.

The texts covered change each year, but recent modules have focused on the following topics:

In Latin:

  • Flavian personal poetry (Martial and Statius)
  • The emperor Claudius (Suetonius and Tacitus)
  • The Cupid and Psyche story from Apuleius’ novelMetamorphoses
  • Ethnicity and Empire in Latin Epic (Virgil and Silius Italicus)
  • The Power of Love (Ovid and Propertius)

In Greek:

  • Tragedy (Euripides’Hecuba)
  • Books from Homer’sIliad
  • Longus’ novelDaphnis and Chloe
  • Plutarch’sLife of Antony
  • Paradoxography (a portfolio of texts exploring the weird and marvellous)

These modules are mandatory for Classics BA students with an A-level in Latin or Classical Greek. Other students with A-level can choose to start with ‘Latin or Greek Texts’ at levels 1 and 2, but they may drop later modules if they wish.

Each module is worth 20 credits.

Dissertation in History Dissertation in Ancient History The British Civil Wars c.1639-1652 Sexuality and Society in Britain Since 1900 Alternatives to War: Articulating Peace since 1815 Windrush and the (Re)Making of a Nation: Myth and Memory British Culture in the Age of Mass Production, 1920-1950 Overseas Exploration, European Diplomacy, and the Rise of Tudor England Samurai Revolution: Reinventing Japan, 1853–78 "Slaves of the Devil" and Other Witches: A History of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe European colonialism and the boundary of the human in the long eighteenth century The 1960s and the West, 1958-1974 Russia in Revolution 1905-21 The Reign of Richard II 'World wasting itself in blood': Europe and the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) Rebels Against Empire: Anticolonialism and British Imperialism in the mid 20th Century The three faces of Eve: Jewish Christian and Muslim women in Medieval Iberia The Hundred Years War Cultures of Power and the Power of Culture in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany Italy and the Second World War Zero Hour: Germany, Poland, and post-war reconstruction in Europe, 1945-1955 Britain in the Age of the French Revolution: 1789-1803 Victorians in Italy: Travelling South in the Nineteenth Century Samurai Revolution: Reinventing Japan, 1853–78 Faith and Fire: Popular Religion in Late Medieval England The Black Death The Chimera: British Imperialism and Its Discontents, 1834-1919 Disease and Domination: The History of Medicine and the Colonial Encounter The past that won’t go away: The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 Plague, Fire and the Reimagining of the Capital 1600-1720: The Making of Modern London Slavery, Caste and Capitalism: Labouring Lives in Global History, 1750-2000 Napoleonic Europe and its Aftermath, 1799-1848 From Serfdom to Stalin: Rural Life in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, 1853-1932 The Agony and the Ecstasy: Drugs for Pleasure and Pain in the History of Medicine Crisis, What Crisis? The West, c. 1970 to 2000 A historical journey through Italy's links with the wider world Politics, culture, and sexuality in Renaissance and baroque Rome The Silk Road: Cultural Interactions and Perceptions Pompeii: Art and Culture in a Roman Town Christian Empire Virgil and the Epic Tradition Oedipus through the Ages Animals in the Ancient World Greece in the Archaic Age, c. 800-500 BC Greeks and Persians Classics and Film Coins, Cults and Cities: Coinage in the Eastern Roman Provinces (30 BC to AD 270) Mapping the Humanities Greek Tragedy Masculinity and Citizenship in Greece and Rome "Otherness" in Classical Art Heritage and the Media Beginners’ Latin or Greek for second and third years: 1 and 2 Intermediate Latin or Greek: 1 and 2 Advanced Latin or Greek: 1 and 2 Latin or Greek Texts: 1-6

This module involves the in-depth study of a historical subject from which you will create a 10,000 word dissertation. You will have regular meetings with your supervisor and a weekly one hour lecture to guide you through this task.

Recent dissertation topics have included:

  • Richard II, William Shakespeare and the Revolution of 1399
  • The Image of the Male Witch in Early Modern Iceland
  • Lord Salisbury and the Mediterranean Agreements: Revisiting Anglo-German Relations, 1886-1896
  • A Re-evaluation of Prince Lichnowsky's Role as the German Ambassador in London in the July 1914 Crisis
  • Interwar British Fascist Movements and Race, 1922-1940
  • 'No Country, No Home': The Abandonment of the South Vietnamese by the United States after the Vietnam War
  • Visions of Loathing and Desire: Representations of Masculinity in Late Soviet Posters

This module offers what may well prove a unique opportunity: the opportunity to engage in prolonged, intensive and productive study of a topic which you have chosen for yourself and on which you will be working very much on your own terms with access to advice and subject to criticism and, on completion, assessment.

This module is built on skills acquired and/or developed in your first and second years (notably in Extended Source Study, Studying Classical Scholarship or Communicating the Past).

This module is primarily dependent on your personal research: it involves a few plenary sessions of formal teaching, and each student is allotted an individual supervisor to guide them through the process.

This module surveys and analyses political, religious, social, cultural and military changes during the civil wars fought across the British Isles and the British Atlantic between 1639 and 1652. The major topics to be explored include:

  • the causes of the civil wars
  • the mobilisation of civilian communities
  • the course of the civil wars
  • the impact of war on individuals and communities
  • religious and political change
  • the growth of religious and political radicalism
  • print culture and propaganda
  • the changing roles of women
  • the issues surrounding the public trial and execution of the king
  • the abolition of the British monarchy and the House of Lords
  • the ‘Celtic dimension’ of the conflict
  • the Civil Wars in the British Atlantic

This module is an examination of the links between sexuality, intimate life, identity, politics, society, power and the state in Britain since 1900. It will also examine theoretical approaches to the study of sexuality and analyse sexuality as a category of historical analysis. Key themes:

  • Theorising Sexuality in History
  • Free Love and Eugenics
  • Sexology
  • Psychoanalysis and the Therapeutic Revolution
  • Sapphic Modernity
  • Birth Control and Sexual Knowledge
  • Marriage and Society
  • Queer London: Male hom*osexuality 1918-1957
  • Wolfenden
  • Transsexuality and Gender
  • Permissive Society and Counter Culture
  • The AIDs Crisis

To provide students with an understanding of the principal trends in sexuality and gender in Britain since 1900. To introduce students to competing interpretations of British history through understanding changes in sexuality and gender and to encourage awareness of the relevant historiographical debates in the field in order to assist in the development of the key skills listed below.

International history is dominated by wars; historians and international relations scholars focus with an almost obsessive zeal on the causes and consequences of conflict. The intermittent periods of peace are rarely scrutinised, other than to assess the imperfections of peace treaties and thus extrapolate the seeds of future wars. This module offers a corrective to this tendency, taking as its focus the multifarious efforts that have been made since 1815 to substitute peace for war. These include diplomatic efforts (e.g. post-war conferences, legalistic mechanisms such as the UN, arms control protocols, etc.), and those advanced by non-state actors (e.g. national and transnational peace movements, anti-war protests, etc.). Taking a broad definition of the term peace , and focusing predominantly (though not exclusively) on Britain, this module revisits some of the pivotal episodes of the 19th and 20th centuries, exposing and interrogating the often complex relationship between war and peace that emerged, and thus arriving at an alternative history of the period.

In a series of weekly seminars this module takes a critical look at the historical construction and ascendance of the Empire Windrush, and the Windrush Generation, to national prominence in the UK, deconstructing the largely mythological narrative that currently persists around this symbolic historical epoch of Black arrival in Britain in 1948. Focused largely on four significant moments of invention from 1948 to the present, the aim of the module is to equip students with a much broader view of the British Empire that brings into focus a complex and long historical picture of encounter, inbound and outbound migration preceding and in this postwar moment, as well as the conflict and civil disobedience that is obscured by the somewhat quaint story of arrival captured in the Windrush narrative.

Students will interrogate and evaluate a range of primary historical sources from the archive, including a range of oral histories, as well as the historiographical debates surrounding the Windrush in order to understand how national histories are constructed and the purposes they serve. A range of digital assets and digital history skills and methodologies will be embedded across the module – giving students the opportunity to develop their own digital archive related to the historical themes of the module.

The module explores the cultural transformations in Britain brought on by the shift to a Fordist economy (roughly covering the period 1920-50), and the social and cultural contestations that resulted. It takes chronological and thematic approaches, and topics may include:

  • New experiences of factory work and the rationalisation of diverse areas of everyday life;
  • New forms of advertising and commodity culture, and the anxieties and opportunities these produced;
  • New forms of industrial urban leisure (e.g. the cinema and dance hall) and their role in promoting social change;
  • Performances of self-hood and the contested politics of movement and habit;
  • The perceived impact of Americanisation on national traditions, values and ways of life;
  • The rise of the ‘expert’ across a range of fields to manage working-class behaviour;
  • The development of social science and the problems of knowing ‘the masses’; Post-WW2 reconstruction and the early years of the Welfare State;

This module evaluates the ways in which ideas during the Renaissance had an impact on both long-distance exploration and interstate relations. Also, of primary importance will be situating Tudor England in a pan-European context, thereby helping students better understand the rise of this island nation to become a global superpower. Topics covered will include:

  • Renaissance attitudes to human potential
  • Motivations for overseas exploration and travel
  • Beginnings of European imperialism
  • Continuities and changes in diplomacy
  • Religion and foreign policy
  • Travel literature and cultural diplomacy
  • Xenophobia and cosmopolitanism

This module surveys the dramatic cultural encounter in the nineteenth century as the world of the samurai was confronted by Western expansion and the Age of Steam. It explores the forces at work in Japan’s rapid transformation from an ‘ancien régime’ under the rule of the Shogun into a ‘modern’ imperial power. Original documents examined in class draw on the growing range of Japanese primary sources available in English translation, together with the extensive works of Victorian diplomats, newspaper correspondents and other foreign residents in the treaty ports. You will have four hours of lectures and seminars each week for this module.

The module offers an overview of the history of witchcraft and covers a wide geographical area spreading from Scotland to the Italian peninsula and from Spain to Russia. Such breadth of reference is of vital importance because, in contrast to the uniform theology-based approach to witch persecution in Western and Central Europe, the world of Eastern Orthodox Christianity represented a very different system of beliefs that challenged western perceptions of witchcraft as a gendered crime and lacked their preoccupation with the diabolical aspect of sorcery. The module’s geographical breadth is complemented by thematic depth across a range of primary sources and case studies exploring the issues of religion, politics, and social structure.

What is a human? What characteristics and qualities divide human and non-human animal? What accounts for human variation? Is the orang-utan a human or an animal? Do mermaids exist? Can humans possess both sexes in one body? To what extent do parrots possess intelligence?

During the eighteenth century, these kinds of questions were at the forefront of the minds of Enlightenment philosophers, natural historians, and physicians across Europe. They also played a role in popular interest in ‘curiosities’ and ‘wonders’ that were served by freak shows and reports of the monstrous and aberrant. Although societies across the world have posed similar questions for centuries, in eighteenth-century Europe the answers were directly informed by colonial conquest. European imperial encounter with non-European peoples, animals and environments opened-up new questions and ideas about what it meant to be human and where the boundary between human and non-human lay.

This special subject explores European-imperial debates over the meaning of ‘the human’ and the relationship between humans and their environments in the period of the Enlightenment. The focus is largely on Britain but integrates study of networks of ideas that spanned European and imperial geographies. The module is based on a series of case studies including (but not limited to): mermaids, rhinos, troglodytes, ‘wild’ children, orangutans, intersex people who were displayed as ‘hermaphrodites’, dwarves, and parrots. In many instances, these and other human and non-human spectacles of difference were enslaved, transported, exhibited in freak shows, examined by physicians, and dissected after death. As a history of the entanglement between colonialism and science, this module is as much about violence and power as it is about ideas. By exploring how ideas of the ‘human’ were constituted through colonial encounter, this module draws on studies of race and racism, gender, sexuality and disability. The aim is to consider how the reframing of the boundaries of human during this period of European imperial expansion has impacted our modern relationships to each other, as humans, to non-human animals, and to the environment.

Typically this special subject module surveys and analyses social and cultural change in the West during the `long Sixties' from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s.

Key issues include:

  • The origins and nature of changes in norms of behaviour in the 1960s such as the sexual revolution, attitudes to authority, and the role of youth in society.
  • The impact of wider historical developments such as post-war economic prosperity and the Cold War (the Berlin Wall was constructed in 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis took place in 1962, for instance).
  • An emphasis on looking at the experiences of ordinary people while acknowledging the role of major leaders.
  • The origins of a counterculture in the United States and Britain.
  • The Vietnam War.
  • The development of protest movements such as the civil rights campaign in the United States; the anti-nuclear movement (CND was founded in 1958); student protest movements; the anti-Vietnam War campaign.
  • The movement of protest campaigns toward the use of violence, and ultimately the development of terrorist campaigns in the 1970s (Baader- Meinhof, the Weathermen, the Red Brigades).
  • The `second wave' of feminism from the late 1960s.
  • The representation of the decade in popular culture, both in the 1960s and in subsequent decades, and in particular the politicisation of debates about this controversial period.

This module surveys and analyses Russia’s development between the 1905 revolution and the end of the civil war in 1921.

The module focuses on key features of this period, including:

  • the causes for and impact of the 1905 revolution
  • Russia’s economic and industrial development
  • challenges to rural life
  • the development of civil society
  • the impact of World War One on Russian society.

Themes include:

  • the importance of social identity in revolution
  • the importance of symbolism and imagery in understanding revolution
  • the role of violence and the language of hatred
  • the roles of individuals and key political groups within the revolutionary process.

Module convener: Dr Sarah Badco*ck

The first half of the module is an in-depth chronological survey of the domestic history of England from the Good Parliament of 1376 to the deposition of Richard II in 1399. We will investigate how the royal family and their friends - a colourful and sometimes scandalous group - struggled to rule the country with the aid of such government instruments as show trials, intimidation, legal advice, murder and poll-taxes. The remaining part of the module considers England's relations with its neighbours and the impact of Lollardy on society and the Church in this period.

The purpose of this module is to encourage students to develop a detailed knowledge of primary evidence and recent historical debates in the Thirty- Years’War addressed at three levels: as a war of religion, as a clash of interests between the imperial crown and German territorial princes, and as a human catastrophe of monumental proportions. Although its drama unfolded primarily in the territory of the Holy Roman Empire, the war drew in such diverse participants as Britain, France, Denmark, Sweden and Spain. In pursuit of self-seeking political goals, they formed unlikely alliances and created obstacles to the conflict’s resolution. However, the outcome of the war was to ensure the survival of Protestantism in Central Europe as well as to provide a stable political and religious status quo that lasted into the modern age. The module discusses the Thirty Years’War by drawing on various historiographical traditions that represent the views of major international players.

This module will investigate the lives and ideas of early to mid-20th century critics of British imperialism. The emphasis will be on critiques that emerged from outside the British isles, with a focus on four regions in particular: the Caribbean, East Africa, the Middle East and India. However, there will also be some investigation of the connections between anti-colonial activism in the British Isles and beyond.

More specific topics include:

  • The influence of Marxist ideas on colonial critique, with a particular focus on the Caribbean, including the roles of Eric Williams in Trinidad and Cheddi and Janet Jagan in Guiana.
  • The contrast between collaborative reformers, such as Eridadi Mulira, and radical revolutionaries, such as Dedan Kimathi, in Anglophone East Africa.
  • Metropolitan critiques of empire with a particular emphasis on the role of activist women such as Barbara Castle and Doris Lessing.
  • The significance of culture and cultural critique as an aspect of anti-colonial thinking, as explored in the writings of Mohandas Gandhi and Sarojini Naidu.
  • The power politics of nationalism after independence, focusing especially on the relationship between Nasser and his critics in the Middle East.

With regard to methodology, particular priority will be accorded to primary source material, including philosophical writings, articles, campaigning pamphlets, letters, diaries and memoirs of anticolonial activists.

The module examines the roles and perceptions of women of medieval Christian, Jewish, Islamic identities in Medieval Iberia in the period 1000-1500. It considers different types of evidence, including literary, art and archaeology. It transcends the traditional Christian-western European focus on Medieval Studies and makes a stand against hegemonic narratives.

We will study how medieval women expressed themselves and how they understood their role in diverse societies and at the same time how their respective societies viewed them. We will evaluate how beliefs and patriarchal traditions shaped gender roles and how women expressed themselves under constrictive situations and how they demonstrated agency, conforming to or protesting against these restrictions. In the case of Medieval Iberia, the topic will consider broad debates about co-existence and discourses of identity and segregation.

We will focus on case studies of women, considering social status, economic occupations and engagement in the religious and intellectual life in their context. We will consider aristocratic women, queens, artisans, peasants, writers, nuns, saints and prostitutes, women going about their everyday business and women that had exceptional lives in an attempt to demonstrate the diversity of voices and expressions of female agency.

The analysis of evidence will pay special attention to the female voices as expressed in primary sources; on court cases, treatises, literature and we will contrast with legislation and misogynistic literature. The module will engage with feminist scholarship and gender studies historiography and consider the development of new theories and methodological approaches to the discipline.

Many see medieval Europe as a violent and dangerous place, one in which there was little by way of law and order. A war that lasted over a hundred years (c. 1337-1453) might well be taken as evidence of this. However, this war, which was at its heart about who should sit on the French throne, was far more complex (and interesting) than this would suggest. Indeed, in studying the Hundred Years War, we are able to learn a great deal about the people who lived and died in late-medieval England, France, Germany and Spain:

  • Why did people fight?
  • How did people fight?
  • Were there laws dictating how war should be conducted?
  • What role did chivalry play in all of this?
  • How did war impact on women and non-combatants?
  • Were there medieval pacificists?
  • Do the sources of this period really allow us to understand war fully?
  • Did this lengthy war lead to a new sense of national identity?

These are some of the core questions that underpin this module. While this is, then, a module about a war, it is also a module about the society who fought in and experienced this prolonged conflict.

In the two decades after the First World War, two modern western European countries, Italy and Germany, were transformed from liberal, parliamentary democracies into fascist dictatorships. Historians have offered detailed accounts of the political machinations that made this transition possible. Yet recent historical research has been led by different questions: what reconciled so many ‘ordinary people’ to the anti-democratic, illiberal and increasingly murderous policies upon which these regimes embarked? This course explores how fascism transformed ordinary life, and how culture was employed to translate fascist ideas into lived experience.

In this module, you’ll explore the basic narrative of Italy’s involvement in international relations and military conflict from 1922, but especially during the Second World War.

Using a range of sources, you will understand, assess and evaluate competing historical interpretations of the experiences of Italians during the Second World War. You will use this critical analysis to form your own independent judgement of this period.

We also look at how popular culture, such as novels and films, has impacted engagement with history and shaped our view of the past.

Module description to be confirmed.

This module is an in-depth study of the impact of the French Revolution on British politics, society and culture between the fall of the Bastille in 1789 and the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars in 1803. Through an exploration of primary documents and secondary texts, students will investigate the events of the period and consider the wide range of interpretations that have been applied to these years by contemporaries and historians. Subjects for consideration include:-

  • 'the revolution debate' (e.g. Burke, Paine and Wollstonecraft)
  • the development of popular radical and loyalist political organisations
  • the government's use of legal apparatus against radicals and publishers
  • the impact of scarcity and food crises in a time of war and economic dislocation
  • the emergence of a so-called 'revolutionary underground' after 1795
  • the Irish rebellion of 1798 and its antecedents
  • the ways in which loyalism, patriotism and nationalism were articulated during this period (e.g. Hannah More and James Gillray)

This module examines the history of travel to and within Italy in accounts written by British travellers in the period c.1780-c.1914, especially these key topics:

  • methodologies necessary for analysing travel writing as historical evidence
  • the nature of the 'Grand Tour', including the experiences of women travellers
  • collecting and the development of notions of taste
  • the changing nature of travel writing in the nineteenth century, including the Romanticisation of travel
  • the appearance of middle class travellers as 'tourists'
  • the 'guide book', a new genre of writing

This module surveys the dramatic cultural encounter in the nineteenth century as the world of the samurai was confronted by Western expansion and the Age of Steam. It explores the forces at work in Japan’s rapid transformation from an ‘ancien régime’ under the rule of the Shogun into a ‘modern’ imperial power. Original documents examined in class draw on the growing range of Japanese primary sources available in English translation, together with the extensive works of Victorian diplomats, newspaper correspondents and other foreign residents in the treaty ports. You will have four hours of lectures and seminars each week for this module.

This module explores religious ‘faith’ in England from c. 1215 to the beginning of the Reformation in 1534.

The English church made great efforts in this period to consolidate Christianity amongst the masses through wide-reaching programmes of instruction, regulation and devotion. However, historians disagree as to how successful the church was in its efforts.

The module investigates the relationship between ‘official’ and ‘unofficial’ religion and examines how the church sought to maintain its authority in matters of faith. It asks how people responded and the degree to which they fashioned their own religious practices and beliefs. It also considers the violent repression by church and crown of those deemed ‘heretics’.

It looks at the condemned teachings of the Oxford academic John Wycliffe and the significance of those who followed his ideas, known as Lollards.

Module convener:Dr Rob Lutton

In 1348 the Black Death arrived in England. By 1350 the disease had killed half of the English population. The module concentrates upon the stories of the epidemics' survivors and what they did to adapt to a world turned upside down by plague. It examines the impact of this unprecedented human disaster upon the society and culture of England between 1348 and 1520. It examines four particular groups of survivors:

  • Peasants
  • Merchants
  • Gentry
  • Women

The module explores English society through translated medieval sources. Themes include:

  • Impact of the Black Death
  • Religious and scientific explanations of the plague
  • Changes in peasant society and how peasants lived after the plague  Merchants, their lives, businesses and shifting attitudes towards them
  • Gentry society and culture in the fifteenth century and the development of an entrepreneurial ‘middling sort’
  • Women’s lives and experiences in a post-plague patriarchal society The module poses a simple question: How central is the Black Death in explanations of long-term historical change and the evolution of the modern world?

By the mid-nineteenth century, Britain controlled one of the largest and most populous empires in history. This module examine some of the major events and dynamics that shaped the character of British imperialism, and the historical debates over them.

Particular attention is paid to the relationship between London, the ‘Imperial Metropolis,’ and India, South Africa, and the British colonies in the Caribbean.

The module interrogates the idea of ‘imperialism’ itself and focuses on post-colonial theory and ‘New Imperial History’ in order to critically re-appraise the operation of imperial systems and to apply an interdisciplinary perspective to their study.

Module convener: Dr Sascha Auerbach

This special subject introduces students to key themes within the medical history of colonialism, particularly examining the implications of the inequitable power relations inherent in any colonial project and how these have specifically contributed to the development of health principles and policies. The module looks at the way in which western medical theories of disease and healing shaped ideas about colonial environments, populations, bodies, and racial differences in the imaginations of colonisers. Medicine is revealed not only as a vital tool of colonial domination, but also as fundamentally limited as a successful mechanism for colonial social control. At the same time, the paradox that some western medical interventions did improve the health of many sectors of the population is addressed.

Given the wide chronological and geographical breadth of the topic, a series of 'snapshots'are offered to give a flavour of important aspects of western medical colonialism. The module principally, but not exclusively, uses historical examples within the British experience in the Americas, Africa and India. Approaches to tackling the health of unfamiliar climates, as well as the way colonial medical polices were conceived and implemented are critically discussed via case studies. Finally, the module examines some of the legacies of these attitudes in the post-colonial world.

This module examines the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), its underlying causes and legacy for present-day Spain. Commencing with the establishment of the Second Republic in 1931, students will consider the principal historical forces and conditions that gave rise to the outbreak of war in 1936 in Spain. The module is delivered through a series of student-led seminars in which students present their understanding of a specific historical event, theme or ideas through their study of primary and secondary sources, and respective historiographical debates. Thus, students will develop an in-depth understanding of the war through propaganda, myth, revolutionary ideology, anti-clerical and gendered violence, as well as, for example, the significance of Badajoz and Guernica. The conflict is also considered in the wider context of the "European Civil War"; specifically, the role of military interventions on the part of regimes in Italy, Germany, Portugal, and the Soviet Union, and the influence of non-interventions by Britain and France.

In 1665, London suffered the worst plague epidemic since the Black Death, killing over 97,000 people. The following year, the Great Fire destroyed four-fifths of the ancient City of London within three days. This module explores the impact of these events and places them within the context of the 1660s and the city’s past and future history. We will investigate how Londoners across the social spectrum responded to natural disasters and crises, the challenges that these presented to community values and group identities and how the spread of news reflected fears over religious difference and terrorist plots. The course also examines the changing character of the city across the period including concerns over health, the environment and the use of green space.

We also investigate:

  • Responses to Plague and Fire, e.g. the desire for urban reform versus nostalgia for an older, ideal ‘London’ .
  • How and why the lived experience of Londoners changed over the period, e.g. new spaces for socialinteraction such as coffee houses, private clubs and new forms of public entertainment.
  • London’s emergence as a modern capital and world city—was this a pivotal moment?
  • We also analyse people’s ambiguous attitudes towards London itself, which sometimes characterised it as a centre of disease, disorder and moral bankruptcy, while at other times celebrating its proud mercantile wealth, overseas ambitions and importance as a royal capital.

Primary sources include the lively diaries of Samuel Pepys, letters, England’s first newspapers, pamphlets, sermons, and the capital’s rich visual sources.

The modern world inherited and produced various free and unfree labour regimes—slavery, bonded labour, indentured labour, free-wage labour, child labour, ‘unskilled’ women labour. Race, caste, colonialism, and industrial capitalism shaped and continue to shape working lives, their work culture, and struggles. In this module, we will investigate the conditions of workers by exploring topics such as:

1. Enslaved labourers in the cotton plantations of America,

2. Docks workers at the Mombasa (in Africa) port,

3. Indian indentured labourers in Caribbean colonies,

4. Factory workers (male, female, children) in British and Indian factories,

5. Bonded caste labourers (agrarian slavery) in Indian fields.

The module touches upon key themes, such as free and coerced labour, night-time and sleep of workers, the social reproduction of labour, feminization of the workspace, the emergence of industrial time, etc.

The module aims to provide students with an understanding and critical analysis of how race, caste, colonialism, and capitalism shaped the lives of working people in the last 300 years. Conceptually, it touches on themes such as industrial time, forced and waged labour, child and women labour, sleep and the night-time of workers. In terms of learning resources, the module focusses on archival primary sources, documentaries, and the cutting-edge research on global labour history.

This module looks at the development of Europe from the rise of Napoleon until the 1848 Revolutions. The German historian Thomas Nipperdey once wrote that ‘in the beginning was Napoleon’. Napoleon broadened and reshaped the dynamics of the French Revolution, war and state reform. He was also a symbol of a new world where an individual from a lower noble family and an obscure island could dominate the continent.

The module takes a chronological view of politics, international affairs, war, personalities and ideas. Coverage will focus on France, the German states, Prussia, Austria, Russia and Northern Italy.

The general structure will be:

  • legacy of the French Revolution
  • the rise of Napoleon
  • Napoleonic Europe at its Zenith
  • Napoleon’s Fall
  • the Congress of Vienna and the 1815 Settlement of Europe
  • ideological and cultural currents in early 19th century Europe
  • government and politics
  • the situation in 1848.

This module explores the lived experience of rural people in the spaces of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, from the outbreak of the Crimean war in 1853 up until the consolidation of the collectivisation process in 1932. This module explores the diversity of the peoples living in this region, the challenges and patterns of their everyday life, and the relationships of rural people with State power. The module is organised thematically, moving week by week through issues including faiths and beliefs, family and community, politics and protest, military service and population movement, Questions around gender and the specific roles and experience of women are raised throughout the course. A diverse array of primary sources are utilised through the course, including memoirs, fictional literature, ethnography, paintings, photographs, posters and official documents.

This module introduces students to the social and cultural history of drugs, principally in terms of how they were promoted and received within the West, referring mostly to the period since 1900.

It examines not only certain key developments within the history of mainstream pharmacology, but also at the way (now) illegal narcotics originally entered the market place, often as medicines. It focuses upon the way polarised cultural opinions about drugs evolved, with attention particularly paid to the contingencies of geographical location and historical period.

Seminars introduce drug therapies and the controversies surrounding them, with the aim of highlighting wider social interests— including the power of the state, drug companies, religious organisations and the influence of public opinion

Module description to be confirmed.

Module content to be confirmed.

Module content to be confrmed.

This is a discipline-bridging cross-campus module, involving colleagues from across the School of Humanities.

The Silk Road will be presented as a range of archaeological, historical and scientific themes. Broad cultural themes will be balanced with the presentation of specific case studies, such as:

  • The definitions of the Silk Roads
  • Byzantine, Islamic and later medieval Silk Roads
  • Luxury production
  • Trade and exchange from the Roman and later periods
  • Ming Dynasty links with the West

Scientific techniques for the analysis of materials, and their role in the interpretation of trade and exchange along the Silk Roads, will also be considered. This could be between, for example, China, central Asia, Scandinavia and the Middle East.

This module is worth 20 credits.

This module explores the urban image and visual culture of the best-preserved ancient Roman city, Pompeii, throughout the early imperial period and to its end in AD 79. It examines its history and topography, and analyses individual urban structures, architectural choices, sculptural and other artistic displays and monuments, their place in Roman urban development, their political, social, economic or religious function and their subsequent use and influence, including in the modern reception of ancient Pompeii.

Topics include:

  • problems of studying "urban fabric"
  • Pompeii as a melting pot of different cultural traditions
  • public and religious spaces in a Roman town (fora and temples, routes through the city, trade and commerce, sculptural/pictorial displays)
  • entertainment and hygiene (theatres, baths and brothels)
  • the domestic context (intra- and extra-mural living, interior decoration and wall-painting)
  • the funerary sphere (self-representation and cultural traditions).

This module examines a fascinating and tumultuous period of Roman history: from Diocletian’s seizure of power (A.D. 284) to the sack of Rome by a Visigothic army (A.D. 410). In the 126 years which separated these two events, the Roman world was fundamentally transformed, by (amongst other things) the rise of Christianity and the decline of imperial power. This transformation is documented for us by a range of captivating sources: from St. Augustine’s disarmingly frank autobiography, his Confessions, to Zosimus’ savage indictment of the damage he alleged Christianity had done to the empire.

Over the semester, we will work our way through the period, looking at key political, social, religious, and cultural developments and analysing the source material for this absorbing chapter in Rome’s imperial story.

This module involves a detailed study of Virgil's Latin epic poem, the Aeneid, in English translation, and focuses on its interactions with the epic genre.

The Aeneid was always and immediately characterised as a 'great' poem: how does Virgil react against his predecessors to carve out his own literary territory? How is the Aeneid received and re-used by poets and other artists down the ages?

Themes will include:

  • career and poetics
  • Homer and Apollonius
  • reception in later epic (Roman imperial, Neo-Latin, Milton)
  • politics and identity
  • games and reality
  • gender and genre
  • vision and spectacle.

This module will explore the ancient evidence for the myth of Oedipus and selected representations of the myth in the post-Classical world.

In terms of evidence, students will have the opportunity to explore ancient drama and other poetry as well as visual culture and mythographic writings.

In terms of post-Classical representations, there will be a particular focus on performance and on modern popular culture, including (but not necessarily limited to) film, popular mythology books, material aimed at children, on-line representations, and humour.

This module explores the representation of animals in ancient Greek and Roman literature and culture. Core questions include:

  • What criteria did the Greeks and Romans use to distinguish humans from animals?
  • What responsibilities were human beings said to have towards the natural world?
  • How were animals used to explore ideas about ‘nature’, ‘culture’, and ‘civilisation’?
  • How close are these ideas to our contemporary attitudes toward non-human beings?

While incorporating discussion of material evidence and the day-to-day realities of animal life in the ancient world, the module focuses primarily on the ways in which animals were perceived, analysed, and represented in ancient texts, from philosophy and natural history to satire, fable, and tales of metamorphosis. Both ancient and modern theoretical approaches will be considered, and all material will be read in translation.

During the period 800-500 BC the Greek world transformed from a collection of relatively small communities led by local strongmen to complex city-state societies with elaborate institutions, magistracies, and systems of public finance. Law shifted from an oral to a written basis; Greek settlements spread across the Mediterranean basin and Black Sea; and Greek individuals travelled to Egypt and the east, fuelling a process of dynamic cultural fusion. This period was, too, the crucible from which emerged remarkable works of literature, art, and the beginnings of Greek philosophy.

But it was an era of conflict and disruption as much as cultural and economic progress. Major inequalities in wealth between rich and poor led to social breakdown in many communities. The solutions were various: in Attica, Solon attempted to reshape Athenian institutions to place the poor in a stronger position and curb some of the more egregious abuses inflicted by the wealthy. In Sparta, a culture of material austerity emerged that hid from plain sight the visible aspects of inequality whilst maintaining the economic structures that underpinned elite dominance. For some Greek communities, the answer to these problems lay in entrusting one man with the direction of the community, that is, tyranny, which led to disaster in places like Athens and the emergence of the institutional outlines of the classical democracy. And warfare was rife: the archaic age saw the emergence on land of the tactics of the hoplite phalanx, and at sea the development of the trireme and the fiscal structures that underpinned the first state-owned navies.

This module will enable students to chart continuity and change during the epoch in which the contours of classical Greek society were firmly established. It will focus in particular on the interpretative strategies required in evaluating a highly diverse body of evidence and the methodological problems that challenge historians when reconstructing an era whose evidence is far more lacunose that that which survives for the ensuing periods

This module will consider:

  • the Persian Empire, and in particular contacts between Persians and Greeks in the approximate period 560-330 BC
  • major events including: the foundation of the empire by Cyrus the Great; the consolidation of the empire by Darius; the Ionian Revolt and the invasions of Greece; the Delian League and the Peace of Callias; the Peloponnesian War; the Peace of Antalcidas; Alexander’s conquest of the Persian Empire
  • major themes regarding the interactions between Greeks and Persians, including military and political conflict, but also trade and cultural engagement
  • Greek literary evidence, and the diverse representations of Persians and the Persian Empire presented in it
  • non-Greek evidence for the Persian Empire, including cuneiform writings, inscriptions, and visual evidence.

This module will be questioning how various film presentations of the ancient world can be used to better understand both the ancient world itself and our relationship to it.

This will involve a critical understanding not just of the content of certain films but also of the related theories of cultural studies, reception studies, film theory, queer theory, semiotics, race and colonialism, sexuality and morality in both the ancient and modern world. As such this module will be heavily theoretical and will expect the students to be able to deal with complex issues not just about the ancient world, but of modern film production too. This also means that the module will have more teaching hours attached to it than other optional modules to accommodate the extra viewings for discussions.

Amongst the themes to be discussed will be the use of Greek mythology, Greek and Roman historical events, ancient religion, ancient sexuality, morality, special effects, new technologies and comparative cultural studies; all the while dealing with such case-studies as post-War European cinema, British Art House cinema, Hollywood Blockbusters and comedy and animation.

The module will be assessed by a source-analysis commentary and an exam.

The Roman Empire was a mad, mad place! How else would you call an empire where any individual city can decide it wants to start issuing its own money – and the authorities let them do it? A place where hundreds of cities produced hundreds of currencies of local bronze coinage, each city with its own weight standards, and each using its coinage for self-promotion, celebrating local gods, temples, festivals and any other attractions that made their hometown special.

According to one calculation, some 500 cities across the Roman Empire minted coins in the 350 years from Caesar to Diocletian, churning out approximately 100,000 different coin types. This module is all about this city or ‘civic’ coinage. We won’t have quite enough time in this life to discuss 100,000 coin types, so we focus especially on what we call the Near East, i.e. Roman Syria, Phoenicia, Judaea and Arabia (30 BC to AD 270). Dozens of Near Eastern cities produced coins during this time, contributing to an immensely rich and varied tapestry of local cultures.

We will first grapple with the historical circ*mstances which put cities in a position to issue their own money despite being subject to Rome. The local autonomy the cities enjoyed was not a consequence of Roman folly, negligence, or administrative malpractice, but a deliberate and well-advised hands-off approach whose wisdom is proven by hundreds of years of stable and successful rule over the provinces.

In Coins, Cults and Cities, you will learn how the coins can shed light on the life of the issuing city in all its facets:

  1. World of art: reception of Classical models; Greek-inspired art forms vs. local traditions; stylistic developments over time
  2. Religious life, cults and gods: significance of religious imagery, local cult images, ‘icons of difference’
  3. Civic pride, local identity: coins as vehicles for expressions of patriotism and public self-congratulation
  4. Ideology and propaganda: coins as the only mass medium of the ancient world, as tools for collective self-promotion.
  5. Complex dynamics between audience and authority: Who was responsible for text and image on coins? Who was the target audience?

You will get your hands on actual ancient coins of Damascus, Palmyra, Tyre, Sidon and many other cities (you get to choose which ones). Holding actual 2,000-year-old pieces of history in your own hands and examining them will teach you how to apply the knowledge and understanding you’ve gained in class to get the most out of the evidence. You will learn how to observe, analyse and interpret the evidence, and how to turn your thoughts and observations into building blocks for arguments when addressing questions or engaging in scholarly debate.

The civic coins of the Roman Near East have been the focus of my research for close to 20 years. Like me, you will find that these coins are inexhaustible fonts of insight and inspiration. There is no other kind of evidence from the Roman Near East even remotely as rich and deep as this coinage, and yet this precious source is unknown to the general public and under-appreciated even by historians and archaeologists.

This module introduces map-making for the Arts and Humanities. You will be introduced to the field of spatial humanities and will learn how to carry out spatial analyses of humanities datasets and present their findings to a high standard.

You’ll be introduced to the key principles of spatial analysis and digital cartography using open-source Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software. We will also explore the broad and exciting applications of spatial analysis.

We will also work with you to help you understand the role of GIS in digital humanities, the role of this in research and practice more widely, and the employability value of GIS as a skill.

In this module, we will study a varied selection of Greek tragedies from the fifth century BC, from a variety of critical perspectives.

These may include approaches such as:

  • historicism (how do the tragedies fit into and interact with the world of the fifth century Athenian democracy?)
  • performance (including the study of tragedy as a form of choral poetry)
  • mythology and religion
  • literary approaches (construction of plays, the representation of character, imagery).

Through approaches such as these and others, we will try to find ways of handling central tragic questions:

  • why might we be attracted to watching the enactment of suffering?
  • what did these profound, moving and frequently strange dramas mean in their own world and what can they mean in ours?

This module uses literary, artistic and historical material to explore the idea of what it is to be a man and an accepted citizen in ancient Greece and Rome.

It explores how good citizens should behave and what should they look like.? How do they represent this citizenship to the rest of the world and how does this change over time? These questions bring literature, art and ancient history together with gender studies to examine the importance of gender in both bolstering and denigrating public personae.

Topics to be covered include:

  • hom*oeroticism and Athenian identity
  • dress and cultural identity
  • sexual invective
  • citizenship and empire
  • Roman representation in the provinces
  • women, politics and patronage.

The concept of the “Other” has proved extremely influential in Western culture from antiquity until the present. Societies create the “Self” and the “Other” using their own set of categories, including race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality, age and religion.

This course explores the notion of “Otherness” in Greco-Roman visual culture from the eighth century B.C. to the fifth century A.D., discussing how artistic representation and self-representation contributed to constructing and challenging ideas about Greek and Roman identity.

How did the Greeks and Romans use art to construct the “Other” and what can we learn from these representations about the relationships between in-groups and out-groups in the ancient world?

The course also investigates the ways in which Classical art escapes the structuralist binary model of Self-and-Other, merging or inverting these categories. In a brief introduction we will discuss a variety of theories and methodologies that will help students to engage effectively with the visual evidence.

The first part of the course will focus on how different categories of “Other” were gradually shaped in ancient Greek art, reflecting contemporary political, social and cultural developments. We will look at images of hybrid creatures, foreigners, women, slaves, disabled and elderly people, analysing positive and negative connotations of their apparent “Otherness”.

In the second part of the course, we will explore the diversity of Roman visual culture from the Late Republican period to Late Antiquity. As the Empire expanded, images of “Otherness” acquired a broader spectrum of meanings. Sculpture, painting and mosaic decoration from public and private contexts show how “Otherness” could be either repressed or embraced in order to impose, resist or manipulate traditional views of Romanness.

The aim of this module is to teach practical skills in media engagement and management through lectures and workshops, running in parallel with examining how archaeological data are used in media narratives through seminars.

The seminars will use a case study approach and staff will draw on their own experience with different forms of media, such as TV, radio, podcasts, print and social media.

In the media engagement sessions we will teach skills such as: identifying a story, writing press releases, the importance of meaningful images, running a press conference, interviewing/ being interviewed, and writing article copy. We will also consider the differences between print and social media, and the importance of being succinct – a key skill!

Students will be able to choose the topic that they work on for their assessment, but all will engage in the in-class exercises. These will include scenarios such as being journalists at a press conference, and needing to write up the story that comes out of it. They will then submit these as part of their portfolio.

These two modules are for complete beginners. They are also suitable if you have already done some study of Latin or Classical Greek (up to GCSE level). They cover the same material as ‘Beginners’ Latin or Greek 1’ and ‘Beginners’ Latin or Greek 2’. They just let you start your chosen language at a later point in your degree.

You’ll get an introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of your chosen language and you will be supported to analyse and understand basic sentences and to translate short passages.

There is no speaking and listening element - the main focus will be on reading text.

If you take these modules in your second year, you can continue onto the ‘Intermediate’ modules in your third year. Note: this is mandatory for Classics BA students.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Continue your study of Latin or Classical Greek, following on from the beginners’ level modules.

You will thoroughly consolidate the vocabulary and grammar of your chosen language and begin the detailed linguistic and literary study of an unadapted Latin or Greek text.

In Latin, you will typically read a text such as Cicero’sPro Archia, or a book of Virgil or Ovid.

In Greek, the text might be a complete speech by Lysias or selections from a longer text such as theOdysseyor a Greek tragedy.

The assessment for these modules emphasises comprehension and analysis of grammatical structures over memorisation and translation.

Each module is worth 20 credits.

You will study prose and verse texts in your chosen language, building on the skills you learned in the Intermediate modules.

By this stage you will be at or above A-level standard, and will benefit from being taught together with first-year students who have an A-level in the language.

The modules may involve in-depth study of a single text, or may cover a group of texts representative of an author, genre, period, or theme. They will combine literary and linguistic discussion with consideration of the historical and social background.

The texts covered change each year. In Latin, recent modules have focused on the following topics:

  • Flavian personal poetry (Martial and Statius)
  • The emperor Claudius (Suetonius and Tacitus)
  • The Cupid and Psyche story from Apuleius’ novelMetamorphoses
  • Ethnicity and Empire in Latin Epic (Virgil and Silius Italicus)
  • The Power of Love (Ovid and Propertius)

In Greek, recent topics have covered:

  • Tragedy (Sophocles’Antigone)
  • Selections from Homer’sIliad
  • Longus’ novelDaphnis and Chloe
  • Plutarch’sLife of Antony
  • Paradoxography (a portfolio of texts exploring the weird and marvellous)

Each module is worth 20 credits.

This group of modules is for those who have already reached A-level standard. They allow you to explore the work of Latin or Greek authors in detail.

You will also:

  • improve your reading fluency
  • gain insight into language and literature
  • build linguistic analysis and literacy skills that are valued by employers

We pay special attention to language and style. Analysis of linguistic detail will build both your literary appreciation and your language skills.

Some modules will involve in-depth study of a single text, while others may cover a group of texts representative of an author, genre, period, or theme of Latin literature. All modules combine literary discussion with consideration of the historical and social background.

Regardless of whether you take Latin or Greek, the below applies:

Levels 1 and 2 are for first-year students:they involve a systematic programme of grammar revision alongside support with reading and analysis of the set text.

Levels 3 and 4 are for second-year students:they build on the previous year’s work, allowing you to read a larger amount of text and to develop your skills further.

Levels 5 and 6 are for third-year students:you will by now be able to read texts more independently, and assessment for these modules typically allows you to discuss the set text at greater length and with a high level of literary sophistication.

The texts covered change each year, but recent modules have focused on the following topics:

In Latin:

  • Flavian personal poetry (Martial and Statius)
  • The emperor Claudius (Suetonius and Tacitus)
  • The Cupid and Psyche story from Apuleius’ novelMetamorphoses
  • Ethnicity and Empire in Latin Epic (Virgil and Silius Italicus)
  • The Power of Love (Ovid and Propertius)

In Greek:

  • Tragedy (Euripides’Hecuba)
  • Books from Homer’sIliad
  • Longus’ novelDaphnis and Chloe
  • Plutarch’sLife of Antony
  • Paradoxography (a portfolio of texts exploring the weird and marvellous)

These modules are mandatory for Classics BA students with an A-level in Latin or Classical Greek. Other students with A-level can choose to start with ‘Latin or Greek Texts’ at levels 1 and 2, but they may drop later modules if they wish.

Each module is worth 20 credits.

Ancient History and History BA (2024)

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